The Clubman is a more roomy and versatile version of MINI's iconic Cooper Hardtop model. It features extra rear seat and cargo space, a rear door on the right side of the car for better rear seat access and two side-opening rear doors for easier cargo loading and unloading. Three models are offered: the 121-horsepower Cooper, the 181-horsepower Cooper S and the 208-horsepower John Cooper Works.
MINI also offers a small galaxy of alternate bodystyles: these include the Coupe, Roadster, Convertible and Countryman.
The Clubman's styling is almost identical to that of the Hardtop from front bumper to windshield. However, it incorporates several design changes not only to smoothly integrate the longer rear section into the car's lines, but also to harken back to the wood-framing of the original Mini Countryman, Traveller and Clubman of the 1960s and '70s.
In particular, the roof line is broken with two "dune lines" - ridges on each side from front to rear that provide greater visual and physical strength to the roof. Additionally, the roof color is carried down the rear pillars alongside the two rear doors to the back bumper.
The extra right-side door, called a "club door," can be opened after the front door is opened, and is hinged from the rear to provide a broad opening that will facilitate installing a child into its safety seat, or provide easier access to cargo when the rear seats are folded.
Similar to the original Mini Traveller and Clubman, rear access is provided by two doors which are hinged to the outside C-pillars and open one at a time, barn-door style, assisted by gas struts. When open they provide full-width access to the cargo area, and expose the rear tail lights to the rear for safety.
Compared to the Hardtop, the Clubman boasts three extra inches of wheelbase. That translates into three additional inches of rear leg room, which makes the rear seats very practical for children and acceptable for two adults for short trips.
Space behind the rear seat is also increased from 5.8 cubic feet in the Hardtop to 9.2 cubic feet in the Clubman. With the rear seats folded, 32.8 cubic feet of cargo can be loaded in the Clubman, compared to 24 cubic feet in the Hardtop. A stowage box behind the rear seats provides hidden space and provides a flat load floor when the rear seats are folded.
Cooper and Cooper S
The entry-level Cooper is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-four cylinder that sports parent company BMW's flexible VALVETRONIC variable valve timing technology and produces 121 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 revs. Fuel economy is rated at an impressive 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway with both the standard six-speed stick and optional six-speed automatic
In addition to a stiffer suspension, the mid-grade Cooper S packs a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter that pumps out 181 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque at 1,600-5,000 revs (192 lb-ft in overboost mode). Fuel economy is rated at 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway for the stick-shifted model, while the automatic-equipped variant returns 26/34 mpg.
John Cooper Works
After pioneering the superior-handling mid-engined layout and enjoying great success in the prestigious Formula One racing series, British racing driver and designer John Cooper turned his attention to transforming the original Mini into a performance machine. The resulting car, known as the Mini Cooper S, enjoyed a string of dominant performances at the Monte Carlo Rally in the mid-1960s, cementing Cooper's status as a racing legend.
Today MINI pays homage to Cooper with the MINI John Cooper Works models, which are the high-performance range-topping vehicles in the automaker's lineup.
True to its heritage, the JCW Clubman is a pure-bred performance car. It features an aerodynamic body kit, upgraded Brembo brakes and a version of the Cooper S' turbocharged 1.6-liter four that's tuned for 208 horsepower. The twin-scroll turbocharger helps the 1.6-liter engine churn out 192 pound-feet of torque under normal driving. An overboost function allows the JCW to eke out an additional 16 lb-ft for a total of 207.
While a six-speed manual was once the only transmission option for the JCW, MINI recently added a six-speed automatic to the options lists to appeal to clutch-averse buyers.
MINI also recently reworked the JCW's engine to achieve improved fuel economy; the result is an impressive 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway for the stick-shifted model, while opting for the automatic dings highway mileage by one mpg.
Standard and Optional Features
Befitting the brand's quasi-premium intentions, the Cooper features a healthy list of standard equipment including speed-sensitive power steering, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, height-adjustable seats, leatherette upholstery, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, 15-inch alloy wheels and a six-speaker audio system with MP3-compatible CD player and AUX IN connection. Bluetooth connectivity is newly standard for the latest model year.
Aside from its more powerful engine and firmer suspension, the Cooper S adds sports seats, alloy pedals, foglamps and 16-inch alloy wheels. The John Cooper Works brings grey-face gauges, 17-inch wheels, a unique gearshift knob, a sport exhaust system and JCW badging in addition to its performance-enhancing components (detailed above).
Optional equipment includes Park Distance Control, black headlight housing, xenon headlights, Adaptive Headlights, Comfort Access, automatic climate control, automatically dimming rear-view mirror and exterior mirrors, a storage package and for the aesthetically challenged, a rear luggage carrier rack. Entertainment options include a Harman Kardon sound system, a USB audio interface and a navigation system with a 6.5 inch display in the center of the speedometer.
New - MINI Yours
In case the standard options aren't enough for you, MINI has added something entirely new known as MINI Yours, which allows further customization. The options include: an instrument panel covered in a smooth two-tone, soft-touch leather with exposed stitching, a two-tone steering wheel, a new MINI Yours 17-inch wheel, special pattern "Soda" mirror caps with a three-dimensional effect and MINI Yours Soda pattern Lounge Leather with unique Soda pattern on the sides of the backrests and headrests, as well as a contrasting black leather stripe that runs down the middle of the seats and is offset with premium piping.
All Clubman models come equipped with dual front, front side and full-length side-curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Rivals to the Cooper include compact hatchbacks like the Mazda Mazda3, Subaru Impreza Hatchback, Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, Toyota Matrix, Hyundai Accent Hatchback and Ford Focus Hatchback.
The sportier Cooper S and John Cooper Works variants can be compared to the Volkswagen GTI, Ford Focus ST and Mazdaspeed3.